New Coolant Heat Exchanger

Yesterday, we started building our new enlarged heat exchanger for cooling water. The old one, really an experiment (although a successful one), died when the propylene glycol/water mixture that filled it grew some kind of crud, and the old BMW radiator just stopped radiating. Sic transit gloria BMW.

To avoid that same fate, the new system uses a UV-radiation system to kill the crud-critters before they kill the radiator. Replacing the old radiator, we have 3 lovely new HVAC heat exchangers, all working side by side in a new enclosure, to keep our cooling water cool. A 24″ ventilation fan blows the air, and misters at each radiator steal phase-change energy for greater cooling power.

This is kind of a big deal for us, because our major use of water could be, as with most distillers, coolant, taken from our water system and expelled into the environment, and that just doesn’t sit well with us as environmental islanders. As actually happens however, about 10 gallons of coolant just goes round and round, cooling the equipment as it goes and never getting lost. Okay, every few months we have to top off the reservoir with water to compensate for evaporation, but that really doesn’t count.


The scotch-ish whisky EFD81 is new to us, and every operation brings us new experiences. Today, on entering the distillery and checking how the existing fermentations were progressing, we opened an EFD81 fermenter, stuck our heads in and smelled … strawberries? The fermentation smelled strongly of strawberries!
Sure, I understand that those little yeast beasties create esters, flavorful and aromatic chemicals that are a big part of our sensory world, but we were still kinda taken aback by strawberries.
Now, this flavor note in the fermentation doesn’t mean that we’ll be making strawberry whisky anytime soon, but the next time you sip that peaty spirit, you just may find, down in that smoky depth, a strawberry.
Think of it a a surprise gift from us.

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